Thursday, July 17, 2008

A new look and a day of poetry.

Happy Montana Poetry Day everyone. I just got back from the UBS here on the Canterbury campus, where I invaded the poets and read a favourite poem - Opoutere by Bill Manhire. As I said in my introduction, it's a poem by a poet I love, about a place I love, written for a man I loved (my father) so of course I had to ask to be excused if I got emotional. Which I did but only on the last line, and it was nothing I couldn't contain.

I was joined by some poets I was hearing for the first time: Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Dora Sharpe-Davidson, Rebekah Eder, Ross Brighton, Marissa Johnpillai and Doc Drumheller with some poets from the Christchurch School for Young Writers. Ben Brown was also ambushed and brought up from the audience and he was a tough act to follow.

A gentleman got up at the end to say that he had enjoyed listening but that he hadn't heard any poetry, just a lot of prose, and that in his day, poetry rhymed*. He then proceeded to read a poem, but I don't know if it was one he wrote himself or if it was just one he liked. I couldn't hear very well from where I was sitting but it seemed to be about the magic of fairies. I am assuming it rhymed.

Regular visitors will notice I have changed the look of the blog. It is partly because the old way seeemed to look like every other blog I went to, but mainly because this new template actually makes administration a lot easier. I don't have to fluff around so much with html codes etc. I think it's rather pretty too, don't you?

*Actually, plenty of the poems read had rhyme in them. But they weren't in iambic pentameter so maybe they didn't count.


Anonymous said...

that is a beautiful poem for your father, I love that line, "what is memory? it is all of us listening" ( apols if I haven't quoted that correctly)

like the snazzy new template - it reminds me of those moleskin orange wrappers on the notebooks.... ( though intrigued what the writing is above the title in the green...are they words to read or a design thing

that is funny about the man saying the poems were prose, perhaps his imagination wasn't in top gear or perhaps it was how some of the poems were read, there is a real art to reading poetry that not all have. I have a tape somewhere of poets reading, Ted Hughes grabs and shakes the listener like thunder - now that is someone who could write and read a poem

Anonymous said...

Lovely, a poem for your Dad, a such a good one :)
If I had a dollar for every time some old chap ranted about "real poetry" ack!
I like the old template better but the new one might grow on me...

Mary McCallum said...

Rachael! Your new template is mine in different colours! I am so relieved -- I kept seeing all these muted blogs and thinking mine was rather too much in-yer-face, and wondering if I should quieten it down a little. No longer.

And Opoutere is one of my favourite poems. I'd love to have heard you read it.

I ran a poetry workshop for kids at my bookshop and got some nice stuff (none of them rhymed) -- an especially fab line from an 8 year old: 'the water was shiny like new boots'.

Mary McCallum said...

Okay so I changed mine too. After you changed your blog 'look' I went back to mine and started fiddling .... not sure quite what happened but now everything is very orange.

Rachael King said...

Yes I did realise it was the same as yours, but I hoped the fact it was green would make it different enough! I hope you didn't change yours just because of mine! I may yet go back to the old way because it is so understated, but this way is so much easier to navigate!

Mary McCallum said...

No I changed mine because I am a fiddler and once I started -- inspired by your change -- I couldn't stop. For ages I've wanted to have the photo of The Blue up in the title but it wouldn't work in that old format for some reason so I tried another format and lost my colours and columns and tried to recover the orange... and... I'm quite pleased with it in some ways although I wonder if it might give some sensitive bloggers a headache.